Claw

Claw NYC

Photo by Claw

Address: 269 W. 23rd St. (7th & 8th Ave.)

*Also located in Midtown West

Link: http://clawnewyork.com/

Review: The lobster roll seems to be a fad that took New York by storm and this Chelsea location offers up their take on it, served with some butter and mayo on the typical potato bread.  They offer the delish but not low calorie surf and turf which compliments its lobster with some tasty bacon chunks.  Though it is clearly not a romantic setting, this place will hit the spot if you’re in the mood for some no frills lobster treats.  They also have some options for the non-seafood eater as well.  The only downside is that there’s no booze at the Chelsea location.

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Choza Taqueria

Photo by Choza Taqueria

Address: 66 Madison Ave. (27th & 28th St.)

Link: http://www.chozanyc.com/

Review: Choza Taqueria is a hot spot for lunch given the area.  We went for a quick, delicious dinner one night.  They have GREAT authentic tacos, awesome grilled corn and yummy chips and guac.  Unfortunately there’s no booze but they have Jarritos (Mexican soda) in a ton of different flavors.  It’s a small place with a take-out look to it so it’s not for anything romantic but the solid food makes it worth a try whether you eat there, take it to go and sit in Madison Square Park or get it delivered to your apartment.

 

Edo

Photo by Edo

Address: 9 E. 17th St. (5th Ave. & Union Square W)

Link: http://www.edosushinyc.com/

Review: Edo Sushi was a great find – it’s a fun cheap spot to grab really good sushi in Union Square.  It’s incredibly inexpensive considering the quality of the sushi.  With a long list of creative specialty rolls, delicious gyoza and shumai, and 1/2 off beers during happy hour – you can’t go wrong.  The dimly lit and intimate atmosphere and the fact that you rarely have to wait for a table make this is a great spot to go on a casual date night.  We’ve been back to Edo multiple times – it’s one of our go-to sushi spots when we’re in the mood for an inexpensive, delicious meal.

Peep

Photo by Peep

Address: 177 Prince St. (Thompson & Sullivan St.)

Link: http://www.peepsoho.net/

Review: Despite the weird, club-like décor, Peep has pretty solid Thai food.  We stumbled upon Peep during an afternoon of shopping in Soho and were pleasantly surprised.  If you’re in the mood for some noodles/Thai dishes after a long day of shopping Peep is a safe bet, but it’s not really a place to seek out otherwise.  They also have good cheap cocktails during their happy hour from 4:30-6:30pm every day (try the mojitos!)

Penelope

Photo by Penelope

Address: 159 Lexington Ave. (at 30th St.)

Link: http://www.penelopenyc.com/

Review: Penelope has an AMAZING brunch, as you can probably tell by the line out the door on weekends.  Everything on the menu is delicious from the nutella french toast to the egg dishes to the chicken apple sausage to the cinnamon buns. They also do a little bit of a different spin on their brunch cocktails and they’re fantastic.  You can also order for pick up to skip the wait, and this is usually a better bet unless you have a Saturday morning/afternoon to sit around waiting.  All in all, Penelope is a cute, trendy brunch date spot that you’ll be craving every time Saturday morning rolls around.

Defonte’s

Photo by Kathleen R.

Address: 261 3rd Ave. (20th & 21st St.)

Link:   http://www.defontesofbrooklyn.com/

Review: Defonte’s originated in Brooklyn but has, thankfully, spread its wings to the Gramercy area.  This sandwich shop has awesome classic Italian sandwiches.  It’s not a date spot but it’s great for meeting up for lunch or grabbing a sandwich and taking it with you to the park or some other fun NYC activity.   Definitely go for one of their hot heroes, the eggplant parm is fantastic.

Mishima

Photo by Mishima

Address: 164 Lexington Ave. (30th & 31st St.)

Link:  http://www.mishimany.com/

Review: Mishima is your typical neighborhood sushi joint: small place and not the nicest atmosphere for a date, but good for a quick decent dinner.  They have a pretty typical Japanese menu with standard sushi rather than specialty rolls, as well as teriyaki, tempura and udon entree options.  We went with the gyoza and some sushi to share.  Overall the food was good, nothing spectacular and the service is quick and friendly.  Mishima is a solid choice for a quick bite or take out if you’re in the Murray Hill area.

Crif Dogs

Photo by Crif Dogs

Address: 113 St. Marks Pl. (1st Ave. & Ave. A)

Link: http://www.crifdogs.com/

Review: The only reason we’ve ever eaten at Crif Dogs is because we were waiting for our table at PDT, but this place warrants a visit on its own if you’re in the mood for a quick bite of amazingly delicious hot dogs and a cold can of PBR (and honestly, who isn’t in the mood for that every now and then?)  As their site touts, they were voted NYC’s #1 Weiner and we couldn’t agree more. With several bacon wrapped hot dogs and ~23 topping options from fried egg to pineapple to jalapeños to cream cheese, Crif Dogs is definitely worth the visit when you’re in the East Village, and luckily for us their menu is available once you’re sipping your cocktails in PDT as well!

Luke’s Lobster

Photo by Luke’s Lobster

Address: 93 E. 7th St.

*Locations also in Financial District, Upper East Side and Upper West Side

Link:  http://www.lukeslobster.com/

Review: We’re pretty obsessed with Luke’s Lobster – super fresh seafood from Maine right in the middle of the East Village (and FiDi, UES and UWS).  We always seem to end up here whenever we are in the area! They have delicious lobster, shrimp and crab rolls, lobster and shrimp being our favorites.  Really good sodas and chips as well.  But since it’s locations are all pretty small take out places, it’s not ideal for a date but more of a place to stop in if you’re looking for a quick bite before heading elsewhere.  Also not the cheapest meal for a take out sandwich but they do drive the seafood down from Maine daily and it’s definitely worth the price.  Luke’s Lobster is a great spot to grab a bite to eat and has the best lobster rolls you’ll find south of Cape Cod. Great healthier alternative to a slice of pizza when you’re out in the East Village or near one of their other locations.